Jun 22, 2022 - World

Israeli lawmakers take first step toward dissolving parliament

Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at a press conference on June 20. Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/AFP via Getty Images
Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at a press conference on June 20. Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/AFP via Getty Images

The Israeli Knesset voted in favor today in a preliminary hearing on calling an early election. The final three votes are expected next week.

Why it matters: Once an early election is called, Yair Lapid will assume the post of acting prime minister and Naftali Bennett will become the alternate prime minister.

State of play: The coalition wants to pass the remaining three votes as soon as possible to prevent the opposition from stalling or from trying to get 61 lawmakers for an alternative coalition in the current Knesset.

  • Member of Knesset Nir Orbach, one of the defectors from Bennett’s party who controls the committee that discusses the early elections bill, has been trying to stall the remaining votes.
  • Orbach, who is not likely to be part of the next Knesset, is attempting to form an alternative right-wing coalition under Netanyahu. The chances of that happening appear to be very low.

At the same time, the current coalition wants to push for a swift vote on a law that would prevent a member of Knesset who has been indicted from getting the mandate to form a coalition.

  • This bill targets Netanyahu, who is standing trial on corruption charges. Bennett didn’t allow the bill to be tabled until today. The chances that the law passes before the Knesset formally dissolves are low, and if it passes, it is likely to be challenged by the supreme court.

What to watch: One of the issues that will be negotiated in the coming days will be the date of the election. The most likely date is Oct. 25, but dates in early November are also a possibility.

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